Robbery at Charing Cross

A coroner’s memorandum records that on 5 November 1395 Richard Bone of London took sanctuary at St. Stephen’s church within the palace at Westminster. He confessed to the coroner that in September 1392 he had robbed a man on horseback of 20d [pence, i.e. 1 shilling] in money at Charing Cross.

Reconstruction of the palace of Westminster in the early 16th c; St Stephen’s chapel dominates the centre-foreground.

When someone took sanctuary in a local church ā€“ even the church in the king’s palace ā€“ it was the job of the local townsfolk to ensure that the sanctuary seeker did not escape from the church in the dead of night, so the people of Westminster were enjoined to keep Bone under safe watch. There’s no indication on the record that he abjured – and it’s unclear what happened to him.

TNA, KB 9/176, m. 170 —

TNA, KB 9/176, m. 170. Top image: Agas map of London:

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